People

Fabulous Howard - A Showman and Chauffeur

Posted on January 1, 1984 by LCT staff

Risner's red carpet and limousine from the 1960s.
Risner's red carpet and limousine from the 1960s.
Fabulous Howard, one of the more famous chauffeurs of his day, incorporated showmanship into his driving. Now retired and living in Chicago, Howard Risner, at 81 years of age, remains in love with the limousine business.

Risner began his chauffeur’s career in St. Louis in 1920 working for a shuttle service. From there he went on to the Chicago Yellow Cab Co. in 1923.

His halcyon years of 1961 through brought him to Los Angeles, where his showmanship antics found him well received by the Hollywood stars and celebrities. His Cadillac limousine was equipped with television, stereo, loud speaker, trumpets, bag pipes and two telephones. From1968 until 1981, he continued his distinctive service in Chicago.

Risner's limousine came complete with television and stero.
Risner's limousine came complete with television and stero.

Passengers were greeted by raucous musical horns blasting “The Colonel Bogey March” from the movie “The Bridge On The River Kwai” along with a 15 foot red carpet which he graciously unfurled.

Risner’s limousine could summon him from blocks away with blasts from the horn when the telephone was ringing. Many of his passengers made telephone calls to points a- round the globe.

His style and personality led him to a career in network television and night clubs in the 1960s.

Today, with his wife of 56 years, Adele, Risner reminisces about his days of glitter and glamour and offers this tip to today’s limousine operators: Love people and knock yourself out.”

 

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